WHEN: Saturday, March 28, 2015
WHERE: 12 p.m. Gathering Outside North Adams City Hall, 10 Main St., to call upon all elected officials to use their power to ensure that a full service hospital is restored in North Adams
now. Participants will then begin a North County Cares Car Caravan to Berkshire Medical Center.
1 p.m. Departure of Car Caravan to Berkshire Medical Center in recognition of the long distance traveled to access needed care.
2 p.m. Rally outside Berkshire Medical Center (on the corner of North and Burbank St.) to call upon Berkshire Health Systems to restore inpatient services to North County and alleviate the burden now placed on patients and staff at BMC in Pittsfield.
On the one-year anniversary of the illegal closing of North Adams Regional Hospital on March 28, 2014the North County Cares Coalition (NCCC) is hosting a day of action and demonstrations as part of a year-long effort to restore a full service hospital to meet the significant health care needs of the 37,000 residents of Northern Berkshire County who are currently going without access to needed services, and are forced to travel a long distance to receive services they used to receive close to home.
The day’s events will begin with a gathering outside North Adams City Hall, where local residents, political leaders, and local clergy will call upon all elected officials to use their power to ensure that a full service hospital is restored in North Adams now. Participants will then assemble a car caravan to take the long ride down to Berkshire Medical Center, to demonstrate the distance our residents are now being asked to travel to receive this desperately needed care.
The caravan will join a rally to be held outside Berkshire Medical Center, home of Berkshire Health Systems, the new owner of the former NARH, where community members and caregivers from other areas of Berkshire County will gather to show county-wide support for the restoration of a full service hospital in North County and to call upon Berkshire Health, along with local and state officials, to answer our call for the restoration of inpatient services at Berkshire North. The Stroudwater Report, commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services, has confirmed that the health care needs of Northern Berkshire County residents are the greatest in the Commonwealth and has confirmed the need for 18 – 21 acute care inpatient beds to meet the needs of northern Berkshire County residents. A recent study found that Berkshire Health can afford to restore inpatient services at the site of Berkshire North, similar to those offered to South County residents at Fairview Hospital, whether or not they receive critical access designation from the federal government.
The NCCC’s call for restoration of a full service hospital for Northern Berkshire County has broad based support with the city and town councils of seven communities in Northern Berkshire County (North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Egremont, Great Barrington and Williamstown) each passing resolutions last fall to that effect.